For years he would be seen head down into the wind, eyes forward & slightly downward, stained & shabby clam-digger length pants & aloha shirt with sleeves ripped off. In one hand, an ever present styrofoam coffee cup (rarely containing coffee back in the old days) and under the other arm, the ubiquitous roll of crumpled, original drawings, sketches & prints tucked deep into his armpit.
David Sandell is a Wailiku fixture. For years he has drawn & painted the town's dilapidated, crumbling buildings & street prophets, hustling door-to-business-door to sell his work to anyone that had an extra fiver to spare. Times have changed....
Wailuku has seen a spurt of redevlopment in recent years. Those dilapidated buildings, if not renovated, are at least sporting new coats of paint. David no longer moves about the streets quietly like a man on a mission. For the past few years, he has held down an actual gallery location, irregular hours of course, at the far end of Market Street and just a bit out of the center of things to generate any real foot traffic that might lead to patronage for his quirky masterpieces.
This week, Dave moves uptown to a gallery location that more resembles a shabby-chic second-hand store than a hallowed art gallery and is located right across the street from my studio. The interior space is dark and poorly lit at the moment (hey, he just moved in), but filled floor to ceiling with prints, paintings and original Sandells. Racks scattered about the open floor space are filled with T-Shirts bearing the mark of Sandell.
I managed to drop in this afternoon to welcome David to the neighborhood and chat a bit, even persuade him to allow me to photograph him for a moment of two. Of course he bitched and nattered at me non-stop, all while going through the motions of attempting to tidy things up a bit as I attempted to compose and snap the shutter... but that's just David. Drop in sometime & meet David yourself. You'll see what I mean.